It was clear in the first half of last season that Joe Willock was not trusted enough by Mikel Arteta to give him and regular game time with the Arsenal first team, having played just 7 times in the Premier League up to January.
But after being sent on loan to Newcastle and given a steady run of games Willock scored and amazing eight goals in 14 appearances to help the Toon pull away from the relegation dogfight.
After such sensational form it made sense for Arteta to use the Londoner more regularly this season, but now, according to the Mirror, Willock is set to return to the North-East for another season on loan.
Willock didn’t appear in Arsenal’s friendly at Hibs on Tuesday and Arteta seemed to refuse to agree that Willock would be in his squad this season. After saying that Smith-Rowe was “100%” staying at Arsenal, Arteta said of Willock: “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him,”
“He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think, one of the most important players for [Newcastle’s] survival.”
So, Arteta didn’t say Willock was “100%” staying at Arsenal, like he did with Smith-Rowe, so it seems likely that the Newcastle rumours are true, but with the 21 year-old showing such fine form on loan, it makes no sense to not give him the chance to reproduce that form at the Emirates this coming season.
He scored more goals in his last 7 games for Newcastle than the rest of our midfield players did in the whole of the season.
Does this loan, with a reported option to buy next summer, make any sense to Arsenal fans?